Object properties are animated with the help of keyframes. A keyframe is a frame in which the change of the object property is defined. The property values between two keyframes are interpolated, i.e. automatically calculated to be distributed along this span. By default, this distribution is an even span.
When the first keyframe is created for some property, a new animation channel is created for this property. To create a simple animation, at least two keyframes are needed – one for the initial property value, and another one for the new value. For more elaborated animations you can add extra keyframes between the start and end keyframes.
Creating an Animation Channel
To create a new animation channel, follow these steps:
Find the property you want to animate. In our example, it will be the opacity value.
On the timeline, specify the initial frame for the property to start changing.
Specify the initial property value and press the diamond icon on the right of the property:
The diamond icon will become dark gray symbolizing that a keyframe for this property now exists at the current frame location.
On the timeline move to the final frame of the property changing.
Specify the final property value and create a keyframe for it by pressing the diamond once again.
Now you can preview the resulting animation using the "Play" button, hitting space or scrolling the current frame cursor up-and-down by hand.
Working with the Animation Channel
Adding and Removing Keyframes
You can add as many keyframes between the start and end keyframes as you need. Specify the time position on the time ruler and set the parameter to the desired value; then press the diamond button to create a keyframe.
The keyframe temporal position is also marked with the markers on the time ruler.
|The upper part of the time ruler shows the keyframe markers for the selected object, while the lower part contains the keyframe markers for all the objects in the scene.|
To remove a keyframe, place the time slider on the frame with this keyframe and press the dark-gray diamond button near the respective parameter. Alternatively, you can select the respective marker on the time ruler and press the Delete button. Another way to delete the keyframe is to right-click it on the animation channel and select the "Remove" command from its context menu:
When you place the cursor over the keyframe, it changes to a double-ended arrow. This means you can click it and drag to the desired position on the timeline. While dragging, the target frame number is displayed over the keyframe:
You can also drag the marker on the time ruler to set the new keyframe position:
These top markers can be also selected and moved or deleted as a group.
By default, the values between keyframes are interpolated and the value changes in a constant rate for each frame. To create a more realistic moving pattern, easing can be used. Easing instructs the rendering engine to change the parameter values by an amount that varies over time, allowing changes to accelerate or decelerate in a realistic manner.
There are three types of easing: ease in, ease out and ease in/out. "Ease in" will make the animation ‘ease into’ the motion, resulting in an effect that appears to accelerate smoothly rather than leap directly into motion. "Ease out" provides a way to invert this behavior, where the animation gradually slows until it is no longer changing. "Ease in/out" combines the effect of both easing types and can be used for intermediate keyframes.
To set the easing type, right-click the corresponding keyframe and choose the required one from the "Easing" drop-down menu:
The corresponding type of the keyframe will be displayed on the timeline and near its respective parameter:
Deleting the Animation Channel
To delete a specified animation channel, right-click it and choose the "Delete" command from the context menu:
To simplify the animation creation process, Cinegy Type has an automatic keyframes creation feature. In this mode, a new keyframe will be automatically created each time the object property changes.
To enable the automatic keyframes creation mode, press the "Record Animation" button.
Now set the time slider for the desired position and specify the parameter value you are currently animating; the keyframe will be created automatically. The parameter values can be changed either on the canvas or anywhere in the parameters panel.
The keyframes can be automatically created also during the playback. To do this, start the scene playback by pressing the "Play" button and start to change the property value in time according to your needs.